When you add a console to your collection, the first thing you want to do is get a handful of games to keep you busy with your new toy. However, most of us can’t spend afford to spend fat pile of cash for a few games. This budget-friendly list should help you quickly find which games will start you off well without emptying your wallet. (Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping)
Super Mario World: $9
The massive follow-up to the Super Mario Bros series on the NES is not only the most popular SNES games, but is also one of the greatest platforming games of all time. With numerous levels full of color and creativity, Super Mario World is well worth its low price of admission.
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Donkey Kong Country: $9
Besides the obvious Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country was possibly the biggest blockbuster on the Super Nintendo due to its reborn primate mascot and its revolutionary 3D-modeled graphics. It was essentially a killer app in the war against the Sega Genesis. Nearly every SNES owner had a copy of Donkey Kong Country, so you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding one. The two sequels that followed can also be found for few dollars more if you are a fan of the series.
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Serving as an early showcase of the Super Nintendo’s superior graphical power, F-Zero remained one of the best 2D racing games of all time. Some old-school gamers still prefer it to its newer siblings on the N64 and Gamecube due to its great course designs and balanced gameplay.
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Cybernator (aka Assault Suits Valken in Japan) game is an intense side-scrolling, mech shooter that takes you through a steep difficulty curve. In this shmup, your ‘Assault Suit’ can jump, thrust, dash, punch and use various weapons to do your damage. Control is great (but different) with a real ‘chunky robot’ feel. Cybernator boasts many original features and the mode 7 explosions throughout are huge, frequently filling the screen.
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Super Smash TV: $9
The Smash TV franchise redefined its shooter sub-genre and drew a new generation of gamers into its style of gameplay. Super Smash TV refined the formula and added superior graphics and sound over the original. What’s not to love?
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Zombies Ate My Neighbors: $9
At the peak of its success in the gaming market, LucasArts created a comical run-and-gun shooter that served as a quirky tribute to the old-school horror movies. Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a fun-filled riot that has been forgotten by many. Snap it up for a good price while you can.
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Uniracers take the speed and competitive nature of traditional racing games and mix in the tricks and showmanship that was eventually made popular in the Tony Hawk series. The result is one of the most unique and underrated games of the 16-bit era.
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If you are looking to take flight, why not take a look at Pilotwings. In classic Nintendo fashion, Pilotwings takes a previously complicated genre (flight simulators) and make them more accessible to the casual player while enhancing the fun. Pilotwings features a variety of aircrafts and will teach you how to lots of cool tricks. The original SNES version holds up quite well and is a great showpiece for the Super Nintendo console.
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Star Fox: $6
The original in the shoot-em-up series is still a classic showpiece for the SNES. Star Fox‘s combination of dramatic shooting action and quirky characters served as a winning formula for a treasured franchise. Of course, the SNES original shows its age more than it’s N64 sibling, but its dirt cheap and a great piece of gaming nostolgia. If only the Gamecube Star Fox games had as much shooting action as the original.
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Killer Instinct: $6
In the midst of Street Fighter-mania, Nintendo and Rare created a new fighting franchise that had a 3D in order to give it a cutting-edge look. Killer Instinct had some unique elements and a great deal of character that made it a fan favorite in the Nintendo crowd. As one of the cheapest Nintendo-published classics, it is worth a small handful of dollars to add solid piece to a Super Nintendo library.
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Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts: $6
If you like a lot of fast action and frustratingly challenging gameplay that somehow beckons you to keep playing, you won’t find a better value on the SNES than Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts. Super Ghouls n Ghosts has stood the test of time in every respect and is a genre-defining piece of work to boot.
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As one of the best exclusive SNES platformers not from Nintendo, Plok definately is worth the investment if you like running and jumping. It’s a great representation of 16-bit gaming and is a title that is often overlooked.
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Super Game Boy: $7
This isn’t actually a game, but the Super Gameboy is an add-on to your Super Nintendo that lets you play your original Gameboy and Gameboy Color games on your SNES. There are still a number of great Gameboy games out there that can expand your library. I’ll be developing a list of good-n-cheap Gameboy games as well, so you can stock up.
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A Few Must-Haves Slightly Over $10…
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: $11
Still regarded as one of the best in the legendary Zelda series, “A Link to the Past“, is an essential purchase for action RPG enthusiasts. It also stands as one of the cheapest blockbuster games of the SNES.
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Super Metroid: $16
Another important installment from another huge Nintendo franchise. Super Metroid still stands as a fan-favorite in the Metroid community. It also happens to be one of the SNES games that is significantly harder to emulate accurately, so Super Metroid can definately be worth the extra cash for the dedicated fan.
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Tetris Attack: $11
Tetris Attack doesn’t really have much to do with Tetris other than it is a block-based puzzle game. However, I must say it is just as addicting and fulfilling as the original. While you may find some cheaper puzzle games (like Kirby’s Avalanche – see below), Tetris Attack remains the best value.
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Other Cheap Favorites
- Kirby’s Avalanche: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Final Fight: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Metal Combat: Falcon’s Revenge : $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Super Star Wars: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Super Turrican: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Flashback: The Quest for Identity: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Out of This World: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Skyblazer: $4 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Tetris 2: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Wario’s Woods: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- MechWarrior 3050: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Batman Returns: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Phantom 2040: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- The Lion King: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Ignition Factor: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse: $4 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Top Gear: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Strike Gunner STG: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Super Nova (Darius Force): $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Blazeon: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Firepower 2000: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Super Earth Defense Force: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Gradius III: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Super R-Type: $4 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Thunder Spirits: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Darius Twin: $4 – eBay / Amazon.com
- NBA Jam TE: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- SimCity: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- King Arthur’s World: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Claymates: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Cool World: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Zoop: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Road Riot 4WD: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
My Starter Picks For $50 Budget
If I only had $50 to spend on starting out a Super Nintendo collection, here would be my top picks (in order of priority):
- Super Mario World: $9
- Cybernator: $7
- Uniracers: $9
- F-Zero: $6
- Star Fox: $6
- Pilotwings: $5
- Plok: $6
- Total = $48